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Club News


17 December 2014

By Daniel Jones

Many famous international players have played for Rovers over the years; Nigel Martyn, Gerry Francis, and Keith Curle all donned the blue and white quarters at some point in their careers.

However, very few have received international call ups while playing for the gas. Here are a few who have, and where they are now:

Junior Agogo:

A big fan favourite and clinical goal scorer during his time for Bristol Rovers, Junior Agogo notched up 12 goals in 27 appearances for Ghana between 2006 and 2009, the first of which was while he was still a Rovers player in May 2006.

Agogo arrived at Rovers in the 2003-04 season, and despite a slow start to his career with the pirates, bagged himself 45 goals in 120 appearances for the club. From there he moved onto Nottingham Forest in 2006, scoring 7 goals in his first season. The following season he finished as Forest’s top scorer with 13 goals, helping them win automatic promotion to the Championship.

This form led to his selection for Ghana at the 2008 Africa Cup of nations, where he finished as Ghana’s joint top scorer with 3 goals, in a tournament where his team finished in 3rd place having just missed out on the final.

Despite his brilliant year in 2008, Agogo moved to Egypt with Zamalek SC for a year, then onto Apollon Limassol in Cyprus. In 2011, he joined Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League, but had his one year contract terminated in January 2012, and decided to retire.

Agogo now works as a personal trainer, offering training sessions for small groups and also one on one sessions. His website looks nice and stylish, but mysteriously Agogo has failed to say where he operates from…

Neil Slatter:

Back in the early 1980’s, Rovers had a bit of a history maker on their books, of sorts. Welshmen Neil Slatter played for Rovers between 1980 and 1985, and was called up to play for Wales against Scotland in 1983, aged just 18, where he went on to play 22 times for his country.

But Slatter will be most remembered for netting the second goal in Sir Alex Ferguson’s first ever game in charge of Manchester United. Then at Oxford United, who were in the old first division at the time, Slatter smashed in from six yards, and got the man of the match, to give Sir Alex a nightmare start to his incredible 26 years with the club.

Sadly, the defender was forced to retire in 1990 aged 26 due to injury. Slatter is now a police officer in the South Wales Police force, and has been for more than 20 years. He lives in Cardiff with his wife Alyson and two daughters Lauren and Chloe. Slatter’s is a name Fergie will struggle to forget.

Vitālijs Astafjevs:

Brought in by Ian Holloway in 2000 for £150,000 from Skonto FC, Astafjevs was a vital part of the Latvian National Team for a staggering 18 years. More impressive still, he holds the record for the most international caps held by a European player, with 165 caps, and has the 6th highest number of all time.

The skillful central midfielder played 109 times and scored 16 goals for Rovers, before being released in 2003 by manager Ray Graydon. Astafjevs played in Euro 2004 with his country, where they went out at the group stages, played for Rubin Kazan in Russia and returned to Skonto for two more spells before retiring in 2010.

Nowadays Astafjevs has moved into coaching, and is the manager of FK Jelgava in his native Latvia, where they are currently competing for the title of the Virsliga, Latvia’s top league, sitting in third place.

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